MFA & MA Program News

Over the years, graduates from our MFA and MA programs have published countless books and won widespread recognition. Their awards include NEA fellowships, the Whiting Award, a New York Times notable book of the year, The Flannery O鈥機onnor Award, and a Yale Younger Poets Prize. In addition, two of our graduates have served as 性十八.cc Writer Laureate. Below is a sampling of recent awards, honors, and publications from our students, faculty, and alumni. To share your own news, please email Kathryn Reichert at the CLA Public Information Office.

2024
Student & Faculty News
Rachel Blume had her poem "Arctic Tern" published in Flora Fiction and received a A StoryKnife residency, an acceptance to Orion's Environmental Writers Workshop, as well as scholarships to North Words Writers Symposium and the Kachemak Bay Writers Conference. She also presented of an excerpt of her novel to University of Houston Downtown's Gender Studies Conference.... Tim Ott was published in February with his essay, "The River Knows Me," in .... Zeke Shomler's recent publications include Anodyne, Burningword Literary Journal, Gyroscope Review, and Sierra Nevada Review. His work is forthcoming from Bombay Gin, Glassworks Magazine, The Shore, and Folio. His poem "Velvet" is also being awarded Folio's 2024 Poetry Prize!... In March, Rachel McKinley presented part of a nonfiction essay, "I Don't Know You," as part of a creative panel at the Northeast MLA Conference in Boston.
 

2023
Student & Faculty News
Since October 2023, Manny Melendez has been published in  (it will also feature in their eighth print issue), , and Superstition Review (forthcoming this fall). He has received several awards for his writing (across multiple genres), including The 3rd Annual Derick Burleson Poetry Contest Award, the E. L. Bartlett Contest for Literary Criticism Award, and The Farthest North Fiction Contest Short Story or Single Chapter Award.... MFA student Susan Sugai's poem  "Golden Shovel Elegy" was published in . The poem is based on  "The Blue Fish"  by Frank Soos, Professor Emeritus of English.鈥 New MFA/MA graduate KJ Janeshek had three poems appear in the "Body Language" issue of .鈥 Assistant Professor Joseph Holt had a flash essay titled "People in Cars Outside the Coin Laundry" and an accompanying interview appear with .鈥 First-year MFA/MA student Zeke Shomler received an honorable mention for his poem "Necessities" in the adult division of . Also, Zeke's poem "As Long as We Have Windows" appeared in the Summer Solstice issue of .

Alumni News

Ashley Cowger (MFA, '09) published the story collection through Galileo Press. Cowger, who teaches at Penn State Harrisburg, is also author of the story collection Peter Never Came, winner of the Autumn House Press Fiction Prize.鈥 H Warren (MFA, '15) published their , with Boreal Books. The collection is described as "an anthem of Queer resilience and a reminder of the healing powers of community care." .鈥 This Impossible Brightness, the debut novel from Jessica Bryant Klagmann (MFA, '10) will be released by Lake Union Publishing in early 2024.鈥  Zack Medlin (MFA/MA '13) received his PhD in Literature and Creative Writing from the University of Utah. He is now a Visiting Assistant Professor at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO.鈥 Summer Dorr (MA, '18) has taken a position as Assistant Professor of English and Humanities at Alfred State College in Alfred, NY. She had previously been teaching at North Country Community College in Saranac Lake, NY.鈥 Jaclyn Bergamino (MFA, '16), writing under the pen name Jaclyn Wilmoth, is celebrating the release of her debut novel, The Snow Witch, a work of fantasy and magical realism set in the boreal wilderness.鈥 Several alumni will be attending PhD programs in the fall: Danny Dyer (MA, '14; MFA, '16) will study comparative literature at the University of California鈥揇avis; Claire-Elise Baalke (MA, '20) will study medieval literature at the University of New Mexico; and Tara Knight (MA, '16) will study composition and rhetoric at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.鈥 Caitlin Scarano (MFA, '14) was named winner of a 2023 . Of her collection The Necessity of Wildfire: Poems, the awards committee wrote: "These poems burn slowly but searing, as readers are lulled into a sense of comfort in the exploration of the minutiae of everyday life only to be suddenly startled into a higher clarity." 鈥 Split/Lip Press announced that it will publish Holy American Burnout, the debut essay collection from Sean Enfield (MFA, '21), in December 2023. Enfield's nonfiction "attempts to find connection through music and words as reclamation of labor, as community care, and as resistance to the many forces of white supremacy working against marginalized bodies," states Split/Lip Press.鈥 Heather Aruffo (MFA, '19) was awarded the from The Southern Review for her essay 鈥淎t the Women鈥檚 Only Handgun Class in Fairbanks, 性十八.cc.鈥 Aruffo also has work is forthcoming in 性十八.cc Quarterly Review... Brianna Frentzko, MFA/MA 2019, has entered the doctoral program in English at the University of York, York, England.

2022
Student & Faculty News
Cover art for Sara Elizaa Johnson's poetry collection Vapor. A pink cloud.Fiction writer Aaron Salzman took first place in UAF's Three Minute Thesis competition. He also has two story publications this year: "The Fox and the Crow Cross a Shallow Bowl" in , and "Your Home of Theirs" in the print journal .鈥 Assistant Professor Sara Eliza Johnson released her second poetry collection, Vapor, with . Johnson's essay "Unspeakable" (originally published in ) was also recognized as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2022.鈥 Professor Gerri Brightwell released her third novel, Turnback Ridge, with . Brightwell's story "Ocean City, 1949" was also published in , and her flash fiction "Necessary Measures" appeared in .鈥 Two University of 性十八.cc Fairbanks MFA students were named as winners of 2022 . Liz Bolton received a nonfiction award for her essay 鈥淪tarfish: A Paean to Those Who Cannot Breathe,鈥 which was published in Cover art for Gerri Brightwell's Turnback Ridge. Stars swirling over an 性十八.ccn sky.Puerto Del Sol. KJ Janeshek received a poetry award for their poem "I Dream of Dressing Your Altar with Slaughtered Meat," which appeared in Mid-American Review; KJ鈥檚 poem "A Cabin in the Forest" was also named as an honorable mention.鈥 Assistant Professor Joseph Holt had an essay titled "Ten Years Sober" appear in .


Alumni News

John Messick (MFA, '13) received to help with the completion and promotion of his debut essay collection Compass Lines, which is is forthcoming with the 性十八.cc-based in Spring 2023.鈥&苍产蝉辫;Sean Enfield (MFA, '21) also received received an Rasmuson Foundation Project Award, which will help as he completes his debut essay collection Who Be Our Teacher 鈥 Essays on Race, Education and Identity. Also, Enfield's essay "The Revolution will be Revised" was recognized as a notable essay in The Best American Essays 2022. This marks the second time Enfield's work has been recognized by BAE; his essay "South of the South, Reprise" was listed as notable in the 2020 edition.

2021
Student & Faculty News
Fiction writer Alison Miller recently had two publications: her essay "Room for Troubled Dogs" appears at , and the story "Too Much to Ask" appears at .鈥 Poet and nonfiction writer Keely O鈥機onnell recently published four essays: "New Love Letter" in , "In Wayward Water" in , "Antediluvian Animals" in , and "Bird鈥檚 Eye View," which received an honorable mention in the .鈥 The logo for the Association of Writers and Writing programs. Basically, an orange box and some words.Fiction writer Rebecca Wood received a honorable mention for her story "Ain鈥檛 No Glory for Billy" in the 2021 . "Ain't No Glory for Billy" was published in Concho River Review and nominated for a Pushcart Prize.鈥 MFA/MA student Courtney Skaggs recently published two poems: "Business Insider Interviews MGMT's Lyricist: An Erasure" in , and "The Little Death After the Apocalypse," in .鈥 Nonfiction writer Susan Sugai published an essay titled "Sibling Flying Lessons in the 1950s" in the Asian American Solidarity issue of .鈥Cover art for the story collection Golden Heart Parade by Joseph Holt. An emtpy road stretches into a rural landscape. Joseph Holt released his debut story collection, Golden Heart Parade, with . Around the book release, Holt contributed an "If My Book" essay to  and a "Research Notes" essay to .鈥 The story "Inversion" by Associate Professor Daryl Farmer recently appeared in , an online journal dedicated to writing about place.鈥 Poet KJ Janeshek had a prose poem titled "The Sharper Edges of Tongues" appear in .鈥&苍产蝉辫;Gerri Brightwell has a ghost story titled "Huldremose" in the new issue of . Brightwell also has recent work appearing in , , , , and .鈥 MFA/MA student Michael Kay was selected as a 2021 resident of . The program is a year-long residency that offers professional development for emerging playwrights.

Alumni News
The poem "旯鞛," written by Eddie Kim (MFA, '11), by Heavy Feather Review for Best of the Net 2021. The Korean letters 旯鞛 translate to "Kimchi." 鈥 Ken Waldman (MFA, '88) has published eight new books in the past two years: the poetry collection Sports Page, the hybrid craft book The Writing Party; the poetry collection Leftovers and Gravy; and five new volumes of his Trump Sonnets series.鈥 "Force, Mass, Acceleration" by Heather Aruffo (MFA, '19) was selected for the  and appeared in the anthology Best Debut Short Stories: The PEN America Dau Prize. The story was first published in the Summer 2020 issue of Southern Review.Cover art for Best Debut Short Stories 2021. Mostly just a bunch of shapeless colors.

2020
Student & Faculty News
Fiction writer Ryan Shek was named as winner of the . His manuscript, Bluetongue and Other Michigan Stories, will be published by MWCP.鈥 MFA/MA student Courtney Skaggs recently had two lyric essays published: "Lines on the Road: A Map of My Fears" in , and "Ode to an Acorn" in .鈥 Essayist Sean Enfield won the 2020 Fourth Genre Michael Steinberg Memorial Essay Contest. Enfield's essay, "The Revolution Will Be Revised," was published in Fourth Genre鈥榮 Spring 2021 issue. Enfield's nonfiction also recently appeared in .鈥&苍产蝉辫;Joseph Holt had a couple essays appear in summer 2020: "Highway to Hades" in and "Smoky Water Elegy" in . Last year, Holt's essay "Love Running" was featured on a at Longreads.鈥&苍产蝉辫;Daryl Farmer published a story titled "Once a River" in . Farmer also had an essay鈥"The Chapel of Man and All That Endures"鈥攊n the new edition of .鈥 Several UAF English community members had works nominated for the Pushcart Prize: essayist Sean Enfield for the poem "Birthday" in  and for the essay "Where Were You When Frank Ocean Returned" in ; essayist Brandi Jo Nyberg for "Vultures" in ; and professor Eric Heyne for the poem "Candle Ice" in .鈥&苍产蝉辫;Sara Eliza Johnson had several creative works published in spring 2020: the poem "Vapor" in , the essay "Thanatophilia: A Travelogue" in , and the essay "Xenomorph" in .

Alumni News
Patrice Melnick (MFA, '97) published her debut poetry collection, City of Hey Baby, with . The collection draws on Melnick's experience living in New Orleans in the years following Hurricane Katrina.鈥&苍产蝉辫;Dr. Jenni Moody (MFA, '12) accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Mount Mary University in Milwaukee. After graduating from UAF, Moody received her PhD at the University Wisconsin-Milwaukee, where she was awarded a Distinguished Dissertator Fellowship and served as a Junior Writing Program Administrator.鈥&苍产蝉辫;Qaggun "Chelsey" Zibell (MFA/MA, '16) was profiled on the front page of the April 13, 2020, edition of the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner. Zibell now teaches the Inupiaq language at UAF, where she also compiles an evolving website of Inupiaq vocabulary and grammar.Cover art for the book "Where We Land" by Daryl Farmer. An old camper vehicle is covered in pristine snow.

2019
Student & Faculty News
Fiction writer Heather Aruffo was to Mongolia, where she will teach university-level English and assist the US embassy in Ulaanbaator with outreach and community projects.鈥 Fiction writer David Aubuchon received a fiction honorable mention for his story "Finding Lula" in the 2019 .

Alumni News
Armor & Ornament
, the debut poetry collection from Christopher Miles (MFA, '12), is now available from the . The press states that the collection "melds deep-rooted spirituality with contemporary tensions, offering modern psalms for a tumultuous and uncertain age." 鈥 Book cover for Jill Osier's The Solace is Not the Lullaby. a dark tree is silhoutted against a dark night, with little yellow bulbs outlining the tree.Jill Osier (MFA, '00) received the prestigious for her collection The Solace Is Not the Lullaby. Osier has also received a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and has served as the George Bennett Fellow at Philips Exeter Academy.

Further back
Alumni news
Fobbit
, the debut novel from David Abrams (MFA), was named a New York Times Notable Book of 2012. Abrams is also author of the novel Brave Deeds (2017).鈥&苍产蝉辫;David Nikki Crouse (MFA) is the author of Copy Cats (2005), winner of the Flannery O'Connor Award for Short Fiction, and The Man Back There (2008), winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize in Short Fiction.鈥 Novelist Ian C. Esselmont (MFA) has constructed two successful fantasy franchises: Novels of the Malazan Empire and the Path to Ascendancy series.鈥 Nonfiction writer Natalie Kusz (MFA) received a 1989 Whiting Award and a 1995 fellowship from the National Endowment from the Arts. Her memoir is titled Road Song (1990).鈥&苍产蝉辫;Eva Saulitis (MFA) authored five books of poetry and nonfiction and in 2013 received the 性十八.cc Governor's Award for the Arts and Humanities.